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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been doing some homework researching how to adjust the steering box for my new J code..everything sounds easy enough, and I get that it should be tested/tried in small increments. BUT, then I read this writeup on "Stangers" site, where he insists it's best to do the adjustment with steering components detached, using a high quality torque wrench on the steerign wheel nut, etc, or damage will be done and a lot of bells and whistles will show up later.


http://www.stangerssite.com/adjustment.html




Do most of you folks that have done this done it "by the book", or are you getting results from a " leaning over-the-fender" adjustment?

Thanks for any tips/feedback!
 

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Over the fender has worked for me in the past, little by little and try it and re-adjust if you need to, ...too much and you can get it locked up.
 

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I've been doing some homework researching how to adjust the steering box for my new J code..everything sounds easy enough, and I get that it should be tested/tried in small increments. BUT, then I read this writeup on "Stangers" site, where he insists it's best to do the adjustment with steering components detached, using a high quality torque wrench on the steerign wheel nut, etc, or damage will be done and a lot of bells and whistles will show up later.


http://www.stangerssite.com/adjustment.html




Do most of you folks that have done this done it "by the book", or are you getting results from a " leaning over-the-fender" adjustment?

Thanks for any tips/feedback!
Great research, Thanks for posting.
This is the quote I like the best;
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In-Car Adjustment
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Many people want to adjust their steering box while it is still mounted in the car, often without the accuracy of using a correct torque wrench. Sorry, but it just can't be done this way - properly. And since this is the way the engineers who designed the box intended for it to be done, this is also the way I recommend too.
I know, you have all heard from people who told you to tighten down the adjustment screw and that will take out all the slack - easy, no problems - hey, it worked for me!​
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Okay, maybe it did. It probably made some improvement, at least temporarily. But often the slack will come back. The amount of mesh load on the gear teeth is a very small measurement and can't be done without the correct torque wrench. I can set the load properly without one but that is because I have built hundreds of steering boxes and know how it feels. Still, I use a torque wrench for accuracy, anyway. It is very easy to tighten the adjustment far tighter than it is supposed to be. You will never feel it because the leverage of the steering wheel makes feeling such a small amount of drag impossible. This will cause the teeth to mesh under a much greater load and will accelerate their wear. That is why the slack comes back. Only now the gear teeth are really worn out and will have to be replaced. If the adjustment is really tightened down, teeth can actually break off of the rack block and cause the box to lock up.​
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The factory suggested measuring the bearing and gear mesh loads by attaching a torque wrench to the nut holding down the steering wheel, as in the picture to the right. This was after disconnecting the steering box from the steering linkage either by removing the pitman arm from the box or removing the linkage from the pitman arm.​
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Although this sounds good, it doesn't allow for the extra drag caused by the bushings centering the steering box shaft in the column, any drag of the steering wheel on the column or the possible drag imposed by the steering coupler.
If you must try to adjust the box in the car, without proper tools or in the wrong order, do so in very small increments and at your own risk!​
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A critical thing to remember is that the loads being adjusted and measured are actually very small. We are talking about inch/pounds
here, not foot/pounds like most torque values on the car. You must have a tool capable of measuring accurately to one or two inch/pounds, which you cannot tell the difference from by turning the input shaft by hand. Trying to judge bearing load and gear mesh by hand, you can easily over-tighten by a dozen inch/pounds or more. A torque wrench capable of accurately measuring in single inch/pounds is not a common or inexpensive tool, but is the only way to measure a box properly.
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IMPORTANT NOTE
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For examples of what can happen when a steering box adjustment is tightened too much, go to my Damaged Parts page.
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Discussion Starter #5
Catman..yeah, this is what got me a bit paranoid! It seems a lot of work compared to bending over and adjusting a couple screws and doing some trial and error!

I didn't know whether to tackle this properly or just not worry about it?? I certainly don't have one of those tools that measure inch/lbs. Inches yes, inch/lbs no ;)
 

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i tried adjusting my steering box. but no good. i just have to suck it up and get a new one and am going to rebuild my steering while im at it. im pretty excited to see how it steers after all is done.
 

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I agree it's a good tool to have in the box and not a big investment for a inch pound torque wrench.


The point of all this is if the job is done like the engineers intended it will last another thirty plus years with no problems. You see how easy it is to be off the correct adjustment by guessing. The guy who did mine built his own airplane. He always goes by the book, has to or he risks death!

It's satisfying to know that there are still people out there that really care obout what they do no matter how small the job or how big (as in GTE that sold for 165,000 big ones)

I met a guy who is one of 6 or 8 original owners left of an AC Shelby Corbra. The only Green one from the factory. Since he has had the car he has had it restored 3 times. It's gone to all of the concource shows around the country. When it gets into a condition that it can't compete he drives it. When he get's tired of driving it he has it restored. The guy who restores it lives in Miami and doesn't have a phone. People from all over the world go to this guy to have their mega buck cars redone. You can't call him you have to see him in person.

Here's a picture of it,
to make along story short don't cut corners if you don't have to.
 

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I guess I'm to old and lazy . i bought a new one and sent the old one to be rebuild but i have a few cougars at this point
 

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The box is 42 years old , specs are out the window. go by feel , less is more. I did mine this way and its fine.
 

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I've been doing some homework researching how to adjust the steering box for my new J code..everything sounds easy enough, and I get that it should be tested/tried in small increments. BUT, then I read this writeup on "Stangers" site, where he insists it's best to do the adjustment with steering components detached, using a high quality torque wrench on the steerign wheel nut, etc, or damage will be done and a lot of bells and whistles will show up later.


http://www.stangerssite.com/adjustment.html




Do most of you folks that have done this done it "by the book", or are you getting results from a " leaning over-the-fender" adjustment?

Thanks for any tips/feedback!
Heres what you do... Unlock the adjustment screw, keep track of where it was by counting the turns outward. Pump about 7 ounces of 90 wt gear oil down the hole and then put your screw back in the same amount of turns plus a 1/4 turn. If it still has some play go another 1/4 turn. If your box is not cured with this procedure you need a rebuild. From the factory your box had 7 oz of grease, putting too much on top of it can ruin your box as the bearings can actually be forced from their seat. The 90 wt. will soften up the unknown amount of remaining grease and will damage nothing. In time gravity will send a small amount of this 90 wt out the bottom of the box and may / will get seepage. If your car looks like my drivers it will blend right in...
 

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Cool tip Don! Never heard that one before but it sounds like a simple way to revive a tired one if it's salvagable....
 
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